News Stories

South Atlantic Division Commander stresses regional cooperation and strategies

Published May 6, 2008

   When he spoke to members of North Carolina coastal communities in late April, BG Joe Schroedel, Commander of the Corps’ South Atlantic Division, forecast regional cooperation and strategies in four water resources areas. Schroedel complimented state water resources representatives for their foresight and willingness to work with the Corps to maintain critical infrastructure in times when resources were under pressure. He encourage all in the audience to support efforts to reach across state boundaries to work on issues of concern in all the South Atlantic Division states.

Water supply: “The drought we experienced in the Southeast and the ‘water wars’ that came along with it convinced me, and I think has convinced many of our governors, that a cooperative strategy on water supply is crucial.” Schroedel says that he has talked to governors in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas, and all agree that cooperation and coordination are important. Getting to agreement on some contentious issues may take awhile, the General acknowledged.

Waterways: Our so-called ‘low use’ waterways, including the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf Waterway are still vital to the economies in their regions. But their economic contribution is not on the same basis as our yardstick for funding—ton miles of commercial barge traffic—requires. Schroedel applauded the efforts of economists and others who are bringing forward new data and formulating new proposals for continuing to properly maintain these transportation systems. “I believe that we ought to be looking at transportation more holistically,” he said. “Not just waterways as a separate system, but waterways as part of the system that includes ports, rail, road, and water networks.”

Ports: The rapidly approaching day when container ships will exceed the current PanaMax standard is already on the horizon. Ports that will accommodate new, larger shipping must be planned and built. “We need a regional plan to make sure the Atlantic seaboard has the capacity that will be required.”

Sediment management: Schroedel complimented the State of North Carolina on its coordinated effort to look at beaches, inlets and waterways as a single system. Storm damage reduction projects on Southeastern shorelines are an important element of these systems.